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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 2:52 am 
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hhhenry wrote:
I note the presence of direction signs in many places, something one would expect in a 'tourist' district. This would imply that many visitors not from the island were frequently expected since locals wouldn't need them. It's also curious that the signs are not in d'ni but in pictograms. This might be traditional or ceremonial or even that visitors who could not read were expected.


That was probably a choice by Cyan. Back in the Choru days there were actual street signs erected by the DRC to help navigate. However all the signs were in english, and Cyan was aiming for an international audience. So they got rid of these and used D'ni pictograms instead. I think I might be able to find an old picture of the older DRC signage somewhere.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 5:38 am 
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@ hhhnery
you make a good point as there were ahrotahntee (outsiders,Book Worlders) that came to Ae'Gura. They could have been business people, merchants, servants,or just friends of some D'ni. Like they say, a picture or pictograph can say a thousand words. Not all would have been able to read or speak d'ni as it was guarded language. Think of it this way how many can speak another language, but not correctly text it, on our own world.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 5:52 pm 
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Chloe Rhodes you are just the sort of person who I want to talk to! You know the ins and outs and even the hidden nuts and bolts that I will never know.

So here are my current core questions.

Is there a location that has the all/most of the plans and discussions of Ae'gura as a physical place from either the designers' point of view or the archaeology of the DRC?

Is there a place that has a detailed history of D'ni consolidated like a "History of England Since the Conquest'" not a few paragraphs of summary and not all the separate books of kings? I think long time fans have info from other games and a more studied knowledge of the Novels than many of us and I don't know what has been declared "real" as to the Uru we inhabit today.

Where is the evidence that links the buildings in Ae'gura to the various buildings in the histories besides the names in the Nexus, (which aren't even that specific)? You can walk into the "Tomb of Atreus" at Mycenae but it is highly unlikely the king in the Iliad was buried there.

(and to keep digging at the no-way-to-settle Tokotah question- the Piazza San Marco in Venice is a public space and I don't think the gondoliers live(d) there)

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:49 pm 
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These are questions only Dr. Watson could answer, if he ever came around, hint hint.

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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 4:51 pm 
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Ventris wrote:
The 'Concert Hall" is not well designed for the inflow and outflow of large groups of people as needed for a theater but would be suitable for the coming and going of legislators and their aides.
.......
I still argue that the hall is ill suited for a major performance space in the capital district. The balcony seems to me to be more suited for political or religious announcements (think Papal balcony or Dictator platform) than part of a musical performance space. I hope any musicians reading will chime in.

Ventris, I completely agree with you on this, have thought this for a long time. Years ago, I took some rough measurements of the "Concert hall" space, and just now decided to put that info into a diagram form.

Since we don't have access to the interior of the Hall space, all we can gather is from the dimensions of the exterior entrance hallway and the platform that extends out from the opposite side of the crest the Hall is built into, the hooded "cowl" formation seen in the Canyon area of the City, below the rope bridge. Based on a male avatar's 6-foot height, I estimated the entrance's doorways at about 17.5 feet, all other estimates are derived from that starting point...so there's definitely a margin of error in these estimates.

If we assume that that "cowl" platform is part of the stage, and the stage takes up the full cowl area protruding from the rock all the way to the very lip of the platform hanging over the canyon, then only about 44 feet of horizontal space is left for an audience in what would be a very steeply raked auditorium. Of course, if the stage area were cut back, more space would be available for seating. But this would still be a very small theater.
And you'll notice that the entrance hallway curves opposite to the way a theater's interior radius is normally shaped around the stage, so that reduces the available interior space as well.

Image
(I've always wondered what the lower platform's purpose was - the one shining in bright blue light when viewed from the Canyon side opposite the Mall.
Does anyone have a higher-resolution version of this design sketch, from the CoLab site Chloe linked earlier? It would be great to be able to read the annotations there!)


Ventris wrote:
If someone has statements from (Cyan) that "we just put stuff in whatever way it looked good" then this topic is solely IC (like the Baker Street Irregulars' hobby of reconciling Conen Doyle's writings) and I guess belongs in the Creativity area.
Cyan obviously put a lot of thought into adding meaningful canonical detail wherever they could; at the same time I believe they used A LOT of artistic license when necessary - or when they felt so inclined. Sometimes an addition simply looked appealing, but I'm sure other additions were just needed to cover up a gap between two other essential features, for instance. So yeah, there are meaningful things dotted throughout Cyan's work, some yet to be discovered...but I don't think everything in URU is always meaningful!


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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Emor this is cool. I just ran around the space going, "this just doesn't seem right" but you actually figured a way to get a rough measurement. Has no one else in all the years done this? Seems unlikely but where is it all?

It seems to me if we don't simply accept the DRC designations (or maybe it's just peoples' assumptions that the buildings are the ones in the histories) then a whole new way of looking at the cavern opens up. To me that's fun.

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 Post subject: The DRC and archeology
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 6:09 am 
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Shorah everyone,

A very interesting topic here!

Emor, I found a good collection of Engberg's architectural drawings archived at Chiso, but they seem to be of the same relatively poor resolution. So far, I haven't found anything better out there, though it might be worth a shot to scour the photographic archives of the past Mysterium tours of Cyan HQ just in case there's anything pinned to the walls there. I haven't been able to track down a website I once found which had a nice collection of past Mysterium photos, but the prior links should get you started... And there likely are some links here on the forums to personal photo collections.

Regarding the broader topic here, I have a few thoughts to throw out there.

Firstly, I think it's important to recognize that the D'ni Restoration Foundation was never intended to be an archeological organization. Its founder, Elias Zandi, was obsessed with restoring the Cavern, intending it to become a living city once again, populated by "The Called". I expect that Zandi structured the DRF to focus on this single goal and that Dr. Watson continued the DRC in that same vein when he inherited the project after Elias's death. It wouldn't surprise me if Zandi left a pretty specific and stringent legal structure in place to ensure that his dream would continue to be realized after he was gone (rich folks can be that way, especially obsessed rich folks ;) ).

Depending on who you quote, there were either one or two anthropologists on the DRC committee. Marie Sutherland is widely recognized as being an anthropologist (which isn't quite the same thing as an archeologist); Dr. Watson had a doctorate in either history or archeology. I tend to think RAWA knows what he's talking about regarding Dr. Watson, which would mean the DRC had both an anthropologist and archeologist on their committee, along with a couple of engineers (Kodama and Laxman), a geologist (Kodama) and a building scientist (Engberg). This is an excellent combination of expertise to fulfill Zandi's dream. Not so much if the goal is archeological documentation and restoration. All five of these folks explain a bit about their DRC work here.

Archeology is more about exploring and preserving the past with an academic eye. If the DRC was interested in archeology, then the Cavern would have been restored as a museum and monument to the past; instead, it has been restored as an inhabitable and growing community.

This is not to imply that anthropology/archeology was unimportant to the DRC. The cultural aspects of the D'ni (e.g. the language, art, customs, history, religion, etc.) were an integral part of the DRC research and restoration work. Elias believed himself to be of D'ni heritage and that those who felt "The Call" also would be (literally) the new D'ni. It wouldn't surprise me if Elias's vision included the new Cavern inhabitants speaking D'ni, adopting D'ni customs and generally living their lives according to the old D'ni ways. Dr. Watson describes Elias and the history of the DRC very well here.

At any rate, the idea I'm trying to convey is that we're likely to misunderstand the DRC and their restoration work and goals if we view them simply as "archeologists". That said, I am as disappointed as everyone else that we have so few extant records of their work and even less access to the original data/research (e.g., we have the translated journals and documents but not the originals on hand). I continue to wonder exactly what happened to all that information after the DRC disbanded. (Not to mention the D'ni records and artifacts that Sharper says he hid from the DRC.)

The work of reassessing the D'ni cavern architecture is a huge job and enormously important. larryf58 was making inroads with such work during his participation in this community and such work deserves to be continued. Best of luck to all of you with this mighty task!! :)

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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 7:26 am 
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While I think that the Nexus name translation for the concert hall is the best guess the DRC could come up with, I also think that the use of that structure was quite different than what we assume from the name. Its possible that the performances were exclusively solo or in very small groups and the audience watched/listened from various places around the canyon.

Has anyone tested the acoustics of the canyon? I'll bet they are terrific. The observable deterioration should not present a significant change from the time of the fall.

Just my opinion,
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 2:18 pm 
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It may be that the "concert hall" was indeed a place for giving adress or enacting performances, but I'm wondering if we are thinking inside the box still. Considering the structure noted in Emor's image above, the "hooded balcony", as it were, is too small for an internal theater, I'm wondering if it is more likely to be an outdoor theater. The plaza below has crumbled away, but if it was at its full dimensions, would that hooded balcony then become a place where the elite might have spoken to the common folk milling about below? (perhaps the plaza wasn't big enough even in its original so this may be wrong, i'm mostly speculating here)

Or perhaps the concert hall was a mini-library of sorts, with access to ages specifically designed for entertainments, like the foyer of a multi-plex. Linking technology was so commonplace for the D'ni, something that was taken for granted so completely.

Surely I am not the first to make these observations, so if they have been observed, discussed, and dismissed in the past, I do apologize.


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
Does anyone have a higher-resolution version of this design sketch, from the CoLab site Chloe linked earlier? It would be great to be able to read the annotations there!)[/i][/size]


Sorry Emor, the copy I have in the GoMe Archive isn't much better....Still here is the requested document:

http://www.guildofmessengers.com/sites/ ... ketch.jpeg

(/salute)

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:57 am 
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The point I was trying to make was that the audience was probably outside of the concert hall... probably at various places around the canyon.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:02 am 
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I have noticed that there are a lot of observation points on the canyon and not much to see except the bridge and the balcony. I am far from an expert on acoustics but I wouldn't expect the canyon is great for music. That's why I was thinking political stage. But maybe people living in a cavern would have musical styles that incorporated strange echos. I should look at the Musicological site. I like the idea that it was the entrance way to a linking area. Though that wouldn't explain the balcony really.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:38 am 
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What other buildings don't seem to quite match their designations?

I think I saw a post once that the museum was not too museum like.

I also think that as the palace could be considered as a possible religious building.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:52 pm 
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dtierce wrote:
The point I was trying to make was that the audience was probably outside of the concert hall... probably at various places around the canyon.
dtierce, I think Rhee got your point, and I did as well. And what you say makes sense: who hasn't wondered about the purpose of the two large circular platforms overhanging the Canyon, as well as the separate balcony on the wall opposite the hooded stage area we're discussing? Aside from general "scenic view" vantage points for the Canyon, it does seem these could have been intended as viewing areas for crowds listening to orators on that exterior stage area.

At the same time, my earlier post wasn't intended to imply that that interior space could not have been used as a concert hall, only that the hall would be considered a "Small Concert Hall" by even the standards of the earthly 1700s. It could still be used for gatherings of maybe around 150 to 225 people, I'm guessing.
Just to give you an idea of the possible interior scale, here's a cross-sectional drawing of a small theater (source), that I've clipped to the approximate dimensions we're talking about here:
Image
(of course, you need to eliminate all the staging equipment and catwalks in this drawing; the "cowled" Ae'gura stage prevents that)

What does seem odd is that the entrance for the hall is so grandiose, with its curved steps and overview of the Arch and lake: this is what leads one to guess that the interior might be equally spectacular. But there really isn't enough space in there for the large-scale hall one might expect. So maybe, as was suggested here, this venue served dual functions as a performance space on the inside and a political podium space on the outside?

Nev'yn, thanks for passing along that version of the CoLab sketch; you're right though: it is the same drawing at the same resolution, just bigger...so you still can't make out the annotations!

Also wanted to say how much I appreciate the tone of this thread, with numerous people weighing in and contributing their ideas and opinions...this is really good democratic thinking and research!


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:56 pm 
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ventris wrote:
What other buildings don't seem to quite match their designations?

I think I saw a post once that the museum was not too museum like.

I also think that as the palace could be considered as a possible religious building.


Well, both the Museum and the Library (at least what we can see of them) are basically big shafts with balconies.
Fantastic sights, sure, but somewhat a waste of space, if those are their actual functions :roll:

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